On average, client-side marketers from around the world (though primarily from Europe) estimate that 43% of the analytics data they collect is useful for driving decision-making, while agencies similarly estimate that 40% is useful, per a recent study [download page] from Econsultancy and Lynchpin. The survey finds substantial year-over-year increases in the percentage of marketers and agencies reporting that analytics drive actionable recommendations that make a difference. But what exactly are respondents looking to get out of analytics?
In-house marketers surveyed for the report were most likely to cite conversion rate optimization as a top-3 growth or profit-related requirement for analytics, with 55% doing so. That was clearly the top choice, ahead of acquiring new customers (43%), improving marketing ROI (42%) and improving customer retention/loyalty (39%).
Among agency respondents, though, improving ROI was on par with conversion rate optimization as a top-3 analytics requirement (54% each), with ROI improvement cited by the largest share of respondents as a first choice. Close behind, a slight majority 51% cited the acquisition of new customers as a top-3 requirement.
Company marketers were also asked to identify their most important requirements for analytics as they relate to understanding the customer. The most popular of those were: tracking behavior across devices and channels (56% citing as a top-3 choice); identifying patterns of content engagement and campaign response (55%); and personalization and targeting (53%). Interestingly, fewer (44%) said that evaluating the overall customer experience is a top-3 requirement, with marketers preferring instead, it seems, to focus on specific aspects of customer behavior.
In order to meet their business goals, company respondents identified two types of data that are most important: CRM (57% citing as a top-3 choice); and clickstream (i.e. website interactions; 55%).
Compared to last year, a larger percentage of company respondents are planning to increase their analytics budgets for technology, internal staff, and consulting and services. For those beefing up their analytics staff, digital analytics tools skills will likely be in high demand. Indeed, this was the most widely-cited skills gap, ahead of statistical modeling and conversion rate optimization. That tracks with recent survey results from Accenture Interactive, in which CMOs were asked what would be the fundamental changes occurring in marketing over the next 5 years: a leading 43% citedÂ analytical skills becoming a core competence.
About the Data: This is the seventh annual Measurement and Analytics Report (formerly known as the Online Measurement and Strategy Report), published by Econsultancy in association with Lynchpin. There were 1,052 respondents to the research request, which took the form of an online survey in April and May 2014. Respondents included both in-house marketers and analysts (51%) and supply-side respondents, including agencies, consultants and vendors (49%). A majority of respondents are based in Europe.